Around 100 student and staff delegates met last week in our Sörenberg campus to celebrate our 22nd student led research conference since its inception in 2008. The Spring 2019 conference was introduced by International Academic Director Mr. Bernie Quinn who welcomed delegates to a packed agenda that included international speakers from academia and the hotel industry as well as senior students from the school.
Themes from external speakers included contemporary service excellence and we were reminded from Ulster University’s Robert McKenna that service excellence is not the preserve of the 5-star hotel but is readily evidenced by small hospitality businesses that regularly deliver high quality service without recognition nor awards. At the other end of this scale, Miss Samantha K. Hamilton of the Dakota hotel group, UK spoke of the challenges of opening new high-end hotels and how in particular to recruit large numbers of appropriate staff within a short time span.
Student research provided a breath-taking range of subjects from medical tourism in Kerala to sustainable tourism in Mauritius, destination image and the Rohingya crisis, volunteer tourism in Kenya, social impacts on indigenous populations after mega events such as the world cup in Brazil and many more. Students impressed judging panels with their in-depth analysis of far-reaching hospitality and tourism phenomena and their focused lines of inquiry.
The conference was closed with awards made to all those who had contributed so admirably to this remarkable two-day event. Next conference will be in November 2019 and the main theme will be ‘Gastronomy and the importance of sustainable food policies.’ Watch out for more details coming here soon…